Chlorophyll a fluorescence analysis can detect phosphorus deficiency under field conditions and is an effective tool to prevent grain yield reductions in spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)
- 400 Downloads
Background and aim
Phosphorus (P) is an essential macronutrient with major impacts on global crop productivity. Recent work showed that chlorophyll a fluorescence analysis can be used as a sensitive indicator of latent P deficiency across different plant species. Here, we demonstrate that chlorophyll a fluorescence OJIP transients are a powerful tool for early detection of P deficiency directly in the field.
Barley was grown in a P responsive field. One treatment received 30 kg P ha−1 at sowing, four treatments were fertilized with P at 26, 35, 46 or 56 days after sowing (DAS), respectively, and the final treatment did not receive any P throughout the experiment. Chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements, multi-elemental leaf analysis, and growth stage evaluation were performed 26, 35, 46, 56, and 69 DAS.
Phosphorus deficiency during early vegetative growth irreversibly affected plant development including tiller outgrowth and grain yields. However, in the present study, yield reduction could be avoided if short-term P deficiency was corrected by application of P fertilizer no later than 35 days after sowing, when plants had not yet entered the tillering stage. The chlorophyll a fluorescence OJIP transients were able to detect latent P deficiency in this critical phase, thereby providing an opportunity for avoiding a potential yield reduction of up to 27 hkg ha−1. It was further noted, that chlorophyll a fluorescence analysis and P leaf tissue analysis should be performed during early vegetative growth, as probable remobilization of P within the plant during tillering and shoot differentiation masks the effects of P deficiency at the single leaf level.
It is concluded that chlorophyll a fluorescence analysis provides a unique opportunity for a timely detection and correction of P deficiency under field conditions to prevent yield reductions.
KeywordsPhosphorus deficiency Chlorophyll a fluorescence Tillering Field experiment Barley
This work was funded by University of Copenhagen and Innovation Fund Denmark (Future Cropping). We are especially grateful to Leif Knudsen (SEGES) for assistance with identifying P responsive soils, Jens Lyhne Kristiansen (LandboNord) for preparing the experimental field and finally Frede Jacobsen for making his field available to us. This work was supported by the University of Copenhagen and Innovation Fund Denmark (Future Cropping).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
A.C., J.F., and S.H. are co-applicants on the patent (PCT/EP2013/069899) describing the use of chlorophyll a fluorescence to determine the nutritional status of plants, and are founders of the university spin-out SpectraCrop IVS, marketing a hand-held device for predicting the P status of plants. For this reason, there may be a conflict of interest in order to show that the developed P model is able to predict the P status of barley leaves under field conditions. It should be noted that similar OJIP transients, as the ones recorded in this study, can be obtained by a broad range of standard chlorophyll a fluorescence instruments, including Photon Systems Instruments (PSI), Walz, Hansatech, Opti Sciences, Phenospex and MultispeQ.
- Brestic M, Zivcak M (2013) PSII fluorescence techniques for measurement of drought and high temperature stress signal in crop plants: protocols and applications. In: Rout GR, Das AB (eds) Molecular stress physiology of plants. Springer, Bhubaneswar, pp 1–20Google Scholar
- Carstensen A, Herdean A, Schmidt SB et al (2018) The impacts of phosphorus deficiency on the photosynthetic electron transport chain. Plant Physiol 177:271–284Google Scholar
- Edixhoven JD, Gupta J, Savenije HHG (2013) Recent revisions of phosphate rock reserves and resources: reassuring or misleading? An in-depth literature review of global estimates of phosphate rock reserves and resources. Earth Syst Dynam 4:1005–1034Google Scholar
- Hawkesford M, Horst W, Kichey T, et al (2011) Functions of macronutrients. In: Marschner P (ed) Marschner’s mineral nutrition of higher plants: Third Edition, Third. Elsevier Ltd, pp 135–189Google Scholar
- Jones E, Oliphant E, Peterson P (2001) SciPy: open source scientific tools for PythonGoogle Scholar
- Knudsen L, Østergaard HS (2012) Tolkning af jordbundsanalyser. Planteavlsorientering 07-483. Report from SEGES, Agro Food Park 15, 8200 Aarhus N, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
- McKinney W (2010) Data structures for statistical computing in python. In: Proceedings of the 9th Python in Science Conference. pp 51–56Google Scholar
- Reuter DJ, Robinson JB (1997) Plant analysis: an interpretation manual, 2nd edn. CSIRO publishing, CollingwoodGoogle Scholar
- Rychter AM, Rao IM (2005) Role of phosphorus in photosynthetic carbon metabolism. In: Pessarakli M (ed) Handbook of photosynthesis, 2nd edn. CRC Press, Florida, pp 123–148Google Scholar
- Sørensen NK, Bülow-Olsen A (1994) Fælles arbejdsmetoder for jordbundsanalyser. Landbrugsministeriet, Plantedirektoratet, LyngbyGoogle Scholar
- Strasser JR, Srivastava A, Tsimilli-Michael M (2000) The fluorescence transient as a tool to characterize and screen photosynthetic samples. In: Yunus M, Pathre U, Mohanty P (eds) Probing photosynthesis: mechanism. Regulation & Adaptation. CRC Press, Florida, pp 445–483Google Scholar